The popular 1997 science fiction film Gattaca portrays a futuristic world in which human beings genetically engineered (GE) with certain desirable and superior genetic traits are given preference to natural-born human beings who are considered inferior. And in just 15 years since the release of the film, this scenario has become a reality, as modern science has come up with a new way to test unborn babies for roughly 3,500 so-called genetic defects.
The U.K.s Telegraph reports that a team of researchers from the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle has contrived a method of examining the genetic code of unborn babies via blood samples taken from their mothers, and saliva samples taken from their fathers. The tiny amounts of free-floating DNA present in both samples allow researchers to essentially map the entire genetic code of unborn babies and determine which genetic traits they will have upon birth.
Some babies are born naturally with de novo mutations, which are said to be linked to genetic defects such as Down syndrome and cystic fibrosis. These mutations are typically not passed down from parents to their children, and are instead acquired in some other way, including potentially through vaccinations and toxic environmental exposures.
In 39 out of 44 tested cases, the UW researchers were able to accurately pinpoint prior to birth de novo mutations that would occur in babies after birth. And as the technology becomes widely available to parents in the near future, the ghastly scenario depicted in the movieGattacawill evolve into an ever-present reality where the only unborn babies permitted to live and thrive will be those with superior genetic makeups.
This work opens up the possibility that we will be able to scan the whole genome of the fetus for more than 3,000 single-gene disorders through a single, non-invasive test, said Dr. Jay Shendure, lead scientist for the research published in the journal . His entire team, however, corporately added that incorporating this level of information into prenatal decision-making raises many ethical questions that must be considered carefully within the scientific community and on a societal level.
Genetic screening will lead to more abortions, more eugenics, and a culture of genetic class suppression
When science starts openly tampering with human life based on subjective perceptions of which genetic traits are desirable and which are not desirable, there is no stopping the pandoras box of population control techniques that will surely ensue. Parents seeking the perfect child, for instance, will be more likely to simply abort a child with genetic errors and keep trying until they get the one they want.
As government-run healthcare emerges into full reality, state-controlled doctors may begin telling parents that they are not allowed to have an imperfect child because treating that childs inevitable genetic conditions will cost the state too much money. Forced abortions, in other words, could become the norm if genetic testing techniques like the ones developed at UW become widespread.
And ultimately, the breeding of genetically superior children will more than likely lead to a genetically superior class of humans that looks down on those with inferior genetic traits. This is exactly what occurred in the movie Gattaca, as inferior humans with natural imperfections were denied jobs and treated like second-class citizens.
Instead, researchers should be looking for ways to eliminate the thousands of untested chemicals that are added to the food supply (http://www.naturalnews.com/035680_food_packaging_chemicals_PFOA.html), remove toxic fluoride chemicals from water supplies (http://www.fluoridealert.org/downs-syndrome.htm), and end the administration of gene-tampering vaccines to young children (http://www.naturalnews.com/033062_Rupert_Murdoch_Andrew_Wakefield.html).
These human interventions have been shown to be directly responsible for causing genetic defects in humans, and are just a few of the many causes of de novo mutations. If unborn babies were not exposed to chemicals like bisphenol A, herbicides like glyphosate (Roundup), genetically-modified (GM) organisms, and chemical vaccine adjuvants like Thimerosal (mercury) and aluminum, many of them would not even develop genetic defects in the first place.
Recent research has proven that genetic damage caused by chemical exposure can pass from generation to generation through a process known as epigenetics, even when subsequent generations are not directly exposed to those chemicals (http://www.naturalnews.com). This means that man-made toxins such as those sprayed on conventional food crops, added to processed foods, laced in the water supply, and applied to furniture and other consumer products are a blatant scourge on the human genome.
But science would rather ignore the obvious, and instead design technologies that will allow the system to filter out genetic undesirables after they have been conceived. What Hitler and other deranged tyrants of the past tried to accomplish violently is now becoming possible genetically with scientific advancement as its cover. www.naturalnews.com/036136_GATTACA_genetic_screening_babies.html#ixzz1xUSgGBJp
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A team has been able to predict the whole genetic code of a foetus by taking a blood sample from a woman who was 18 weeks pregnant, and a swab of saliva from the father.
They believe that, in time, the test will become widely available, enabling doctors to screen unborn babies for some 3,500 genetic disorders.
At the moment the only genetic disorder routinely tested for on the NHS is Downs syndrome.
This is a large-scale genetic defect caused by having an extra copy of a bundle of DNA, called a chromosome.
Other such faults are sometimes tested for, but usually only when there is a risk of inheriting them from a parent.
By contrast, the scientists say their new test would identify far more conditions, caused by genetic errors.
However, they warned it raised many ethical questions because the results could be used as a basis for abortion.
These concerns were last night amplified by pro-life campaigners, who said widespread use of such a test would inevitably lead to more abortions.
The American scientists were able to map the babys genetic code principally from tiny traces free-floating DNA, which makes its way into the mothers blood.
Blood sample DNA from the mother was also studied as well as DNA extracted from the father's saliva.
Fitting pieces of the genetic jigsaw together, scientists in the US were able to reconstruct the entire genetic code of an unborn baby boy.
They were then able to see what spontaneous genetic mutations had arisen.
Such natural mutations - called de novo mutations - are responsible for the majority of genetic defects.
By checking their prediction of the babys genetic code with actual DNA taken after the birth, the team from the University of Washington in Seattle, found they were able to identify 39 of 44 such mutations in the child.
De novo mutations are thought to play a role in a number of complex conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.
The team also tested their approach on a woman who was earlier in her pregnancy than 18 weeks, and found it still worked.
Dr Jay Shendure, the lead scientist, said: "This work opens up the possibility that we will be able to scan the whole genome of the foetus for more than 3,000 single-gene disorders through a single, non-invasive test."
Jacob Kitzman, who worked on the project, added: The improved resolution is like going from being able to see that two books are stuck together to being able to notice one word mis-spelled on a page.
In future, a more refined and less costly version of the procedure could make pre-natal genetic testing far more comprehensive than it is now, the scientists say.
The research is reported in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
The scientists said the test would be a considerable improvement on current techniques, which involve inserting a probe into the womb to take fluid from the foetal sac or placental samples. This can be dangerous for both mother and child.
Such existing methods only enable doctors to check for a relatively small number of genetic disorders.
These include Down's syndrome and cystic fibrosis - which are both large-scale genetic defects - as well as muscular dystrophy and spina bifada, which can have hereditary elements.
As well as testing for thousands of genetic defects, the scientists said their test could give a wealth of information on the babys future health.
However, they warned: The less tangible implication of incorporating this level of information into pre-natal decision-making raises many ethical questions that must be considered carefully within the scientific community and on a societal level.
As in other areas of clinical genetics, our capacity to generate data is outstripping our ability to interpret it in ways that are useful to physicians and patients.
Josephine Quintavalle, founder of the Pro-Life Alliance, put it more baldly.
She said: One always hopes, vainly, that in utero testing will be for the benefit of the unborn child.
But, whilst this new test may not itself be invasive, given our past track record, it is difficult to imagine that this new test will not lead to more abortions. (6.06.2012, Stephen Adams, Medical Correspondent) http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9315265/Unborn-babies-could-be-tested-for-3500-genetic-faults.html
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." Thomas Jefferson